September 17, 2015
(If we live with an open and grateful attitude, every day will bring a gift. This is one of 365 gifts during the year I turned 70.)
When I recently replenished ice cubes in my freezer, I noticed one frozen cube that stood out with its starburst frost pattern. In that small piece of ice lived an intriguing design, worthy of capturing before it melted. I photographed it backlit with a light box and examined its beauty close-up. Then, as it began sliding around, I added a bit of textured packing material between the ice and the light box. Still not satisfied, I took it outdoors and placed it on a table with a hammered glass surface. The more I looked, the more it drew me in with a myriad of possibilities. What if I held some purple flowers beneath the table?
What I noticed was how the simple pattern remained the same, yet was different. The more it interacted with its environment, the more complex it became. I started out seeing merely its design inside, then began to notice how it reflected colors around it, and eventually reflected itself in its own growing pool of water as it melted. Its internal design also grew clearer as it melted.
It is not such a stretch to understand how this ice cube is a fractal of human experience. Early in our lives, we are simply beautiful. Then as we interact with time and surroundings, we show more complexity and an evolving beauty. Finally, as we age, we become clearer about what is important in our remaining lives. As we melt, we change shape and then total form. The frozen water transitions to melted water, then evaporates and becomes part of the air we all breathe.
My gift today is an ice cube.